Facebook gains momentum in China with Baidu
Written By: Nadia Ibanez
While China has been on the cutting edge of pretty much everything technology-related, the country has been the ultimate late bloomer when it comes to the social media sphere. No Twitter, no Facebook, no YouTube. All because of China’s censorship rules. Facebook has just signed an agreement with Chinese search engine Baidu, to finally establish a social network in the country.
According to reports and Baidu employees, the new website will not be linked to Facebook’s global service. However, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, and Baidu’s chief executive Robin Li have met several times with the hopes that the social network could get its hands on the country’s more than 450 million Internet users.
Facebook already has a corporate office in Hong Kong, making for its third location in Asia, and Zuckerberg has been visiting the country recently and more frequently. Brands like Facebook will definitely face its fair share of censorship issues and policies when it tries to go toe-to-toe with China. Considering all of Facebook and Google’s privacy issues here on the mainland, we’re not surprised China has created the highest hurdles to let the companies in.
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China has created its own domestic brands that are similar to the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook, but we can imagine an American-created force will be quite popular among the locals overseas.
Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR
Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).
These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack.
“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”
“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”
“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR
- Empower employees productivity and collaboration
- Improve fan engagement and experience
- Improve environment security and IT productivity
- Improve racing operations
Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.
“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”
“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives.
“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.
Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”